Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bars

Ok everyone, it’s official: fall has arrived.

Not only is it fabulous news that summer is over, here in the South it is officially 70 degrees at night and our formerly green leaves are fading into a light shade of orange. However, if someone could please share this news with the mosquitos that continue to bite the tops of my feet and, at a football game last week, MY FACE, that would be awesome.

I don’t know about you, but not only does the greenery shift in fall, so does my schedule. Weekends are quickly filled with out-of-town football games and outdoor fun aimed to take advantage of every bit of beautiful sunshine you can; week days are just as packed with work and church/friend/family commitments. It’s become a season of lots going on but even more to enjoy.

And during such a busy time, everyone needs a good snack. That brings me to this week’s recipe- peanut butter chocolate energy bars. If you have spent any amount of time on Luv Cooks you are probably very familiar with my love of peanut butter and chocolate (see dark chocolate s’mores with salted peanut butter and peanut butter chocolate crunch granola).

When I came across the no bake energy bites on Gimme Some Oven‘s blog, I was immediately intrigued. Ali is so, so good at creating easy-to-make, easy-to-share recipes with friends and family. This one in particular caught my attention not only because it was a healthy way to incorporate more peanut butter and chocolate into my life, but also because it was just the snack I was looking for amidst all I/everyone has going on. And the toasted coconut stirred throughout brings the creamy, nutty flavors up a notch.

Here is my spin on her version; for me, bars make for a heartier serving, which equals a breakfast item on the go. And as a side note, I have a new peanut butter I love; I used it for these bars and it’s delicious. So enjoy the beginning of your fall season, and not to worry- peanut butter and chocolate energy is on it’s way.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bars

Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Bars (From the No Bake Energy Bites recipe at Gimme Some Oven)

What You Will Need

  • 2/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill old fashioned oats)
  • 1/2 cup golden flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I like Whole Foods’ dark chocolate chunks); you could substitute dried fruit here too
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cooking spray

What You Will Do

1. Add coconut to a large skillet, then turn your burner on medium heat. Stir the coconut constantly with a wooden spoon until the it smells toasty and turns lightly golden. Make sure you watch this because it can burn quickly! Once toasted, transfer the coconut to a plate and let it cool.

2. Grease an 8 by 8 inch glass pan with cooking spray.

2. Next, spray a 1/2 and 1/3 cup measuring cup with cooking spray. Measure the peanut butter and honey into the cups, then add the pb and honey to a large mixing bowl. Add the cooled coconut flakes, oats, flaxseed meal, dark chocolate chips, and vanilla and mix until combined.

3. Using your spoon, pour your mixture into the greased pan. Press it gently with a spatula or your hands to form an even square (making sure to push the mixture into the edges) in the pan.

4. Chill for at least 30 minutes in the fridge, then use a sharp knife to cut into whatever size bars you desire. Enjoy!



Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

I am not a summer-lovin’ kind of girl.

The idea of a beautifully windblown, laid back lady with beachy waves, a flawless tan, and perfectly cut-off shorts does not describe me on my best of days. Most often I feel like a sweat-soaked*, frizzy-haired cat dramatically lounging on the sofa, looking wistfully out of my window for a sign- ANY sign- that summer in the South has ended.  And the breeze coming from my 36-inch, poorly overworked fan does not count.

I understand that summer’s bountiful produce is a gift. Any one who has tasted a ripe tomato or slice of cold, juice-soaked watermelon in July knows this. But y’all- I think I have eaten enough tomatoes, salads, melon, more salad, and more melon to hold me over for at least another two years.

And to those who claim that fall doesn’t officially start until September 23, please forgive me for ignoring you.  I must cling to the fact that surely fall will be here tomorrow, or I might have a come apart. Wait-was that a leaf I saw falling outside my window?

In an effort to convince myself that the season of all things wonderful- crisp breezes, bonfires, football games, toasted marshmallows, and of course, the pumpkin spice latte– is upon us, here is my first ode-to-fall recipe. It comes in a healthy form because fall is also the time I personally excuse eating 17 Reese’s Halloween pumpkins and microwaved Rotel and Velveeta as meals.

So dive in and get ready for fall. I think I feel a breeze moving already….

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Pumpkin Spice Smoothies adapted a bit from Skinny Mom

What You Will Need:

  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Crushed ice (if you like your smoothie extra thick)

What You Will Do:

1. Put the above ingredients in a blender and whirl away! Add more ice if you like your smoothies slushier, and more milk if you like it less so. Enjoy!

*Some also refer to this condition as “glowing;” i.e., “we don’t sweat, we glow.”  I wish this applied to me.